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Remembering the ’72 Flood


Dear Editor:

Hello, I am sorry for all the mess in Wyalusing. It’s a shame that such flooding has occurred. I thought we had it bad losing beach at the seashore, power lines out everywhere, and three-hour drives for a twenty-minute trip.

During 1972 I was visiting Wyalusing with my mother, Jane Kintner Corbett to see her mother, May I. Kintner; brother, Ingham Kintner; sisters, Louise Kintner Woznicki, Ruth Kintner Brown, friends and Julia Welles.

Of course, Hurricane Agnes hit while we were in town. We thought nothing of it in “safe” Wyalusing as we were not on the immediate East Coast, like our home in Rose Valley, PA (just below Philadelphia). My father, John R. Corbett, Sr., had called from San Francisco and said you better get out of Wyalusing. We said we would tomorrow, not thinking anything big was about to happen.

After some discussion we relented, mostly because our view of the Wyalusing Creek was not looking so great behind Donald Hoffman’s house. We left Louise’s house and my mother insisted I drive over the Wyalusing (Rt. 6 bridge) to higher ground. I was 14 and wondered what? I drove that beige 1972 Buick LeSabre through town. When we turned left to Rt. 6, I could not believe the water level on the bridge and Julia Welles’s home.

We had been there earlier in the day, and there was no sign of any such catastrophe hitting. It did. We made it over the bridge, got past Knolles’s bowling alley. My driving experience was over, and mom drove the rest of the way. Tunkhannock did not look so great either, but we drove Rt. 6 to the PA turnpike, back home to Rose Valley safely.

We live near Ridley Creek, which then was about 20 feet deep and fifty feet wide (before the storm). The dam at Sacksville Mill collapsed from the water and hurricane. Our creek (before this mess of a storm) is now about 12 to 15 feet wide about six to 19 inches deep, with a few deeper eddies. Like Wyalusing, the mill is gone (1995), the dam since 1972. Houses 8 to the acre replaced it.

Our Mayor, Tim Plummer, invites people from Philadelphia to hunt deer, on two, four and six acre lots. Wow! How the world has changed. Childhood memories of old bridges, mills, dams, and family still live on. Wyalusing was making such great strides with the new school, expanding Peoples Bank, and everything along Rt. 6, it just seems horrible to see such damage. I hope your region recuperates, and all is better. Having visited Mississippi with the Presbyterian Church after Katrina, I have seen the pain and losses. Keep on! Things will get better, and this will be a distant memory. Be well.

Scott Corbett

Rose Valley, PA




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